The Celestial Swamp - A voyage through a flooded forest fringe (Shallow Riparium)

hitmanx

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18 Oct 2014
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264
Location
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Well one year into planted tanks, I felt that I had to build a riparium after seeing some spectacular examples over the years by people on both sides of the pond...

My first attempt has been very successful and has been a great learning experience, but it's diminutive size is lacking in the awe inspiring impact that a larger setup can provide... One year later and I'm finally getting my larger shallow wide off the ground.

My major inspiration has been the works of Alastair and Big Tom, and I thank you for sharing your tanks with us over the years!

As the name suggests, I am trying to give the impression of the marginal area where a body of water meets the forest floor (or fringe), in this case an area that has been flooded by seasonal rains. This is my swamp...

25021532869_29b046acc7_k.jpg

That's as far as I have proceeded... I still have to finish the stand, drill the holes, build the overflow, plumbing and sump, and then finally, I can get to aquascaping...

Cheers!

Updated info:
Sep 2018


Fauna

1 Otocinclus affinis
1 BN ancistrus
4 Brachydanio tinwini
10+ Celestichthys erythromycin
14+ Celestichthys margaritas
4 Celestichthys choprae
15 Microdevario kubotai
5+ Amano shrimp


Flora

Bellow:

Hygrophila polysperma
Cryptocoryne walkeri ‘lutea’
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne willisii x
Helanthium tenellum
Sagittaria subulata
Lysimachia nummularia ‘aurea’
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Limnobium laevigatum


Above:

Adiantum aethiopicum
Spathiphyllum 'Petite'
Syngonium podophyllum 'Butterfly'
Calathea lancifolia
Aglaonema sp.
Chamaedorea cataractarum
Chamaedorea elegans
Ficus pumila
Anthurium sp.
Pilea mollis 'Moonvalley'
Pilea cadierei
 
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James O

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16 Nov 2013
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South Coast
Looking good. With inspiration like BigTom, you're set for awesome things!!!!

What's the tank dimensions and the builder? Looks lurvly :cigar:

Btw, who's the little swamp monster? ;)
 

hitmanx

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18 Oct 2014
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Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
The swamp monster is my youngest... She likes to be part of the action - part of why it's taken me so long to get this project off the ground...

The dimensions are very similar to Alastair's "smaller" tank...

120 x 76 x 30cm, with 10mm starphire 3 sides, made by a Canadian company Miracles in Glass...
 

chrism

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3 Mar 2009
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North Wales
This sounds like it's going to be really exciting! Looking forward to seeing how this progresses


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Jakes

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21 Nov 2015
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Farnborough
Looking good i am very much interested to see how this turns out!!


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hitmanx

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18 Oct 2014
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Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Well, the overflow box is assembled, mounted and leak tested... most of the plumbing is assembled and waiting for painting...
Looking great! What are you going to use for lights??

sorry for the late reply... my original idea for lighting was an array of 23watt CFL light in reflectors. .. my previous tanks have had great success with those but I've also had good success with LEDs...

I briefly thought about using kessil lights but I think I would need too many and the cost would sky rocket...

So my new plan is to make an array of par38 LED bulbs... I've never used them before but hear good things... I found some Philips 12watt (100w) daylight bulbs with 35 degree beam optics for $15, so I will need between 6 and 8 of them depending on how high up they are. .. I am hoping to hang the lights somewhere between 40-48" above the substrate to allow 24- 36" of riparium plant growth above the rim of the tank...

Again, underwater plants will be low light variety so I'm hoping that amount of light will suffice...

I'm still a while away from the light stage though, so plans may change again. ..
 
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hitmanx

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Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
30194237852_101a75568b_b.jpg

I got the glass cut and pollished locally for the semi coast to coast overflow... I am using GE SCS1200 in black and this is the first time I have used any silicone on glass...
https://flic.kr/p/N1amXN
30013051590_82afcfbb39_b.jpg

This silicone only has 5 minutes of open time so assembly was very chalenging. .. wood jigs were used to hold the box. side at 90deg...

30013051420_4ea0c16d74_b.jpg

I used a wooden jig to make sure the overflow box was level to the tank... after using the SCS1200 to attach it, I had to scrape the silicone back and reseal the inner joints because I guess I didn't put down a big enough bead the first time and the coverage was patchy. .. the structural silicone between the panes was perfect just not the inner seams...

Anyways, after 48hrs I leak tested it and it passed and so did the bulkheads!

This tank is slowly coming along!
 
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hitmanx

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Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
So I'm happy with the stand being flat and level so I put down a couple yoga mats under the tank as per Derek at Miracles...

30275416816_75a15f7999_b.jpg

I have 40 gallon Tuff Stuff stock tank I'm thinking of using for my sump so I don't have to worry about more glass seams leaking over time... The stand isn't in position yet so I am hoping the final leveling will go smoothly... I'm getting anxious to fill this thing up after owning it for 340 days of it sitting empty...

I've taped off the tank so I can paint the back of it black with acrylic glass paint... it still needs a 4th coat... don't mind the mess, I'm in the middle of a reno too...

29778520314_94ac0db06a_b.jpg

the first coat went nicely...
29778521734_7df846afab_b.jpg

It's still not dark enough after 3 coats...
29777232343_f0b244d6d0_b.jpg

Next up is the painting of the bean animal drain pipes and gluing them to the bulkheads... after that I can fill it with water and test whole system...
 
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Joe Turner

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14 Aug 2014
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Really looking forward to seeing this wet, such cool dimensions. Looks like a painstaking process, but I'm sure the eventual outcome will all be worth it! Your celestials will love all the space :) keep it coming!
 

hitmanx

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18 Oct 2014
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Location
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
This weekend it should be in place and hopefully fully leak tested... maybe I will even have time to finish and test the bean animal system!

I've had plants sitting around for over a year waiting to get in this tank... they are starting to look sickly and tired... the sooner I get this tank going, the sooner I can get all my grow out tanks and containers empty and put away... I have six 30 x 45cm containers filled with crypts alone but of course they've been neglected so they aren't the healthiest...

I'm looking forward to the tranquility of a single tank to focus on instead of the mayham that has been my basement for the last year...
 

hitmanx

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Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Some progress....

30500105773_7d0e13f6f9_b.jpg
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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That's some gnarly wood :D


though I'm thinking your kid liked it better before ;)
 
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